I had the distinct honor to be interviewed by David Gidali a little while ago, and the result was last week’s episode of The Post Post Podcast! The PPP features interviews with post production artists who have managed to move onwards / upwards from VFX or other parts of post to become writers, directors, producers, and other forms of content creators. Previous episodes have featured Aaron Nee (Masters of the Universe, Minecraft), Tomer Eshed (Dragon Rider), Kevin R. Adams and Joe Ksander (Next Gen), and – honestly completely randomly – one of my good friends and classmates from film school Ethan Shaftel!
Andrew Shulkind and I are going to be on SMPTE’s monthly tech webcast in a few weeks talking about VR, AR, MR, XR, RR… all of the alternatives to reality. We’ll be covering the state of the industry and talking about our feelings on how it’s all going so far, and discussing where and when we see things going next.
Anthony Magliocco from Digital Tech Today recently filmed an interview with me about the art, business, and technology of VR and AR. He has released a series of videos from this interview, divided into various topics and collectively covering a wide range of my thoughts on the industry as it develops. We talked for several hours and the conversation covered a lot of ground, so there’s 7 videos in the VR interview series.
Mettle just posted part 3 of a series of behind the scenes interviews with John and I about the “Vegas:Alter Your Reality” project (part 1 here, part 2 here). This time it’s a close-up on our process for bringing Signal Noise‘s vision of Las Vegas to life in “Vegas Rising”. This immersive film features the most artwork directly from its featured artist due to James’ ability to create most of the buildings using his normal weapon of choice: Adobe Illustrator.
In part two of a series of posts about the recently-completed “Vegas: Alter Your Reality” 360º video art project, Mettle has taken a plunge into the process that brought Fafi’s vision of Las Vegas to life. Of all five artists, Fafi’s style was the most ‘analog’, which presented many creative and technical challenges for the team to solve.
In the first of three behind-the-scenes articles, Mettle has pulled back the curtain on the work that we did to bring Adhemas Batista’s vision to life for the recent “Vegas: Alter Your Reality” project. This article dives deeper into the ways that we used Mettle’s brand new VR tool MantraVR and the Skybox plugins that Mettle developed which are now part of the core of Adobe’s After Effects and Premiere. Check it out, and stay tuned for articles about our work for Signal Noise and Fafi, coming soon!
3DArtist recently interviewed John and I about our use of Maxon’s Cinema 4D in creating five animated 360º films for the Vegas: Alter Your Reality art project. This interview dives into the details of how we used C4D and its integrations with Adobe products, Octane, and plugins such as X-Particles and RealFlow to bring the vision and style of each artist into VR.
NVIDIA recently asked me to provide some thoughts about our use of Octane in the Vegas: Alter Your Reality 360º animation project, seen in the above-embedded video. This was the largest project I have used GPU rendering on to date, and the amount of refinement that we were able to do due to the insanely fast render times was a luxury that I just simply have never had. GPU rendering has massively changed the speed at which CGI can be generated and iterated, and it is only getting better and faster. Renders that literally took hours a few years ago are now almost realtime, which is allowing experimentation and refinement that was previously just simply too expensive to attempt.
In early 2017, Andrew and John Fragomeni joined forces with R&R Partners to bring an ambitious immersive animation project called “Vegas: Alter Your Reality” (VAYR) to life. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) commissioned five world-renowned artists to express their visions of the city in each of their unique styles, to create a traveling art installation where the art is all experienced inside a VR headset. Adhemas Batista (Brazil), Beeple (U.S.), Fafi (France), INSA (U.K.), and Signalnoise (Canada) collaborated directly with a team of designers, animators, and technicians brought together and led by John and Andrew in a creative studio purpose-built to craft these five 360º experiences.
Disney just released this 360º VR tour of the latest addition to their Animal Kingdom park in Florida: Pandora – The World of Avatar. John and I provided Disney with post production services on this piece, which included editing, graphics, animation, a CG environment for lead Imagineer Joe Rhode, compositing, and color grading.
Originally slated to co-direct this thrilling parkour ride through Mojave’s airplane boneyard with his long time collaborator Ben Hansford, Andrew had to hand directing over to Ben at the last moment due to the sudden and premature birth of his son. In the end, Andrew produced, edited, and provided much of the stitching, cleanup, and graphics for this segment of season two of USA Today‘s episodic 360º show VRtually There.
Andy worked with frequent collaborator Andrew Shulkind on the edit, stitch cleanup, graphics, and final grade for this behind the scenes 360º look at the main set for Warner Brothers’ comedy “The House“. Featuring audio from the film, each scene shows the progression from total dump to high-end casino that Frank (played by Will Ferrell) performs on his own house. This immersive video was created from a series of spherical HDRI images, and relied extensively on Affinity Photo‘s 360º paint and compositing tools. The final title card was converted into proper spherical perspective using Mettle‘s Skybox, and the edit was completed in Premiere.
Andrew recently directed and oversaw the post-production of an immersive 360º skydiving video for Intel’s VR-centric press event at CES 2017. “Flying Free Over Moab” was the first experience presented by CEO Brian Krzanich, offering the 250 assembled press and influencers the first-hand experience of jumping from a helicopter and gliding in a wingsuit over the beautiful scenery of Moab, Utah.
The USA Today Network has officially launched “VRtually There”, the first branded news experience presented in virtual reality (VR). This is a weekly immersive program that offers original segments focused on thrills, epic adventures, and visiting dream destinations. Andrew and Mirada’s VR team had the honor of working closely with the USA Today team to help develop the language and visual style for the program’s graphics and ad units, including the creation of “Cubemercials”, an immersive blend between billboard and 360º video advertising.
For Comic Con 2016, Within and Here Be Dragons partnered with Sam Esmail to bring his show Mr. Robot into virtual reality. Andrew supervised post production stitching/cleanup, CG ceiling replacements, and a stylized dream sequence montage for Mirada’s portions of the 13-minute 360º video. The experience was ‘simulcast’ in a specific synchronized time window across Within’s VR apps and at a live event at Comic Con, then shown exclusively at the convention in a recreation of Elliott’s apartment.
In early February, Unity held an AR/VR summit in Hollywood to bring together the developers and creatives that use Unity to create groundbreaking experiences for these two emerging mediums. I was asked to do a presentation about how we have added interactivity to immersive cinema in some of our VR projects at Mirada, and it is now live!
Animation World Network reports that The Strain VR won “Best VR Based on Cinematic and Television Experience” and the Google Shop at Currys VR Tour was named “Best in Mobile VR” at the recent Digital Hollywood VR awards: Google Shop at Currys VR Tour launched in April 2015 as the first official app for Google Cardboard,…
Andrew co-directed the official logo reveal for the Google Jump 360º video platform. It now plays in front of all videos created for this revolutionary VR video medium. Using 8k source footage shot on a Jump camera array and stereo-spherical CG, the logo animation required rapid design iterations while juggling the complex needs of working in immersive video.
This special virtual reality tour, directed and supervised by Andrew Cochrane, is a five-minute walkthrough of the new Google shop, a retail space where visitors can directly interact with everything that Google does. The experience takes you through the interactive space and gives an informative, up-close view of the Google shop’s features and experiences.
Experience Michigan Football like never before. These 360º Virtual Reality experiences brings you into the huddle, onto the field and inside the program from an incredible player’s perspective. Andrew helped to lead the technical supervision of the experience, aiding in the stitching and organization of the huge amount of video 360 data.
Mirada partnered with Headcase and ad agency Digital Kitchen to create an immersive VR experience for “The Strain.” Andrew was the technical supervisor on the project overseeing all aspects of production through post. The story follows Vasiliy Fet as he leads viewers on a 360º journey through an abandoned warehouse, while under threat of attack from vampires.